Libertarian National Committee Discussion: Criteria for Listing Presidential Candidates on Libertarian Party Website

LP wallpaper 3The following is an email chain of an ongoing discussion between members of the Libertarian National Committee concerning the criteria for listing candidates seeking the Party’s Presidential nomination at its website. This post will be updated with any further communications in this discussion as they become available.


Email dated September 30, 2015 from Joshua A. Katz, Region 8 Alternate

Colleagues,

I have been thinking about this for some time, and have decided to present my concern to the LNC for your input. Here is a relevant Policy Manual provision:

Party resources shall not be used to provide information or services for any candidate for
public office prior to the nomination unless:
• such information or services are available and announced on an equal basis to all
Libertarians who have declared they are seeking that nomination,
• such information or services are generally available and announced to all party
members, or
• the service or candidate has been approved by the state chair.

This leaves open to some interpretation (some would say it leaves a penumbra) a few questions, such as what “declared” means in provision 1. The easiest way to comply with this provision would be to simply not maintain a list of Presidential candidates. However, this may not be practical, since HQ will be asked who our candidates are, and we might as well have a list. I would not be opposed to eliminating the list, but I’m also not necessarily opposed to having one. Nor is it practical to list everyone who says they want our nomination, particularly if we wish to appear credible. A look at the 1175 FEC Form 2 Filers will confirm that no party can list all of its “declared candidates” nor take all, or most, seriously.

So, I agree with having objective criteria for being listed as a candidate, if we are to have a list. Here are the 2012 criteria:

Filed to run for president with the F.E.C. as a Libertarian
Seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party exclusively
Dues-paying member of the National Libertarian Party
Campaign website is current with contact information

Nothing binds us to observe the past requirements, of course, and I tend to think, unless the LNC acts, the definition of the criteria belong to the Chair or staff. I also don’t think the LNC should micromanage those criteria; that is, while I would be fine with the LNC saying not to list candidates, I’d be much less enthusiastic about the LNC trying to write criteria. Here is a statement of the current criteria:

The Libertarian Party recognizes 2016 Presidential candidates who have campaign websites, are dues-paying members of the LP, have met all U.S. Constitutional requirements to serve in office as president, and are not running for the nomination of any other political party. They have filed with the FEC, with the exception of Darryl Perry, who has chosen not to file as a protest against the FEC, claiming it lacks constitutional authority.

Now, Darryl Perry is listed, as noted above. Not listed is Austin Petersen, who meets all criteria, as far as I know, other than filing FEC Form 2. I believe that such a loose criteria as one that can be paraphrased as “either filed Form 2, or doesn’t want to” is, at least arguably, a violation of our Policy Manual requirement to make information or services available equally to all declared candidates. This is, in my opinion, not an objective criterion. Petersen hasn’t filed the form – as far as I know, he also hasn’t triggered any requirement to do so, and neither has Perry (or, likely, anyone else.) He is certainly as much a declared candidate as anyone else. So hasn’t he “chosen not to” file it, at least at the moment, making him as qualified for listing as is Perry? Is there a definition of “chosen not to” that excludes, well, anyone?

In summary, I believe we can meet our Policy Manual requirement by having objective criteria and sticking to them (equally available to all can reasonably be seen as “equally available to all who have done certain things.) I believe that, at the moment, either non-objective criteria are being applied, or they are being applied selectively, and either option is, in my opinion, a Policy Manual violation.

I cannot make motions, so I am simply bringing this to the LNC’s attention. It is not my intent to attack any candidate, or any decision, but rather to ensure that our rules are followed.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Joshua A. Katz

Region 8 (Region of Badassdom) Alternate
Libertarian National Committee

Elected Libertarian


Email dated September 30, 2015 from Alicia Mattson, LNC Secretary

I agree with Mr. Katz’ assessment of this situation. When one person is given preferential treatment by making an exception to the established criteria, we’re no longer treating the candidates equally.

This subject was a can of worms leading up to the 2012 presidential convention as well. I just reviewed some old emails to refresh my memory on the context of what happened at the time. Some initial criteria were established, and then the criteria started changing to try to accommodate this person or that person who was excluded. Guess what one of the issues was…Jim Burns complained about the requirement to have filed with the FEC, so there was talk of eliminating that criteria to accommodate him. It became such a distraction from what the board should be doing that I ultimately made (and the LNC adopted) a motion in February 2012 that:

“The LNC hereby directs Staff to remove from the Party’s website the listing of individuals seeking the Party’s nomination for President or Vice President.”

We didn’t put that in the policy manual, but an argument could be made about whether that’s still a directive that is in force until such time as the LNC says otherwise.

The world did not implode because we no longer listed presidential candidates on the website. I prefer that we not do it at all and just leave it to delegates to decide who is serious and who isn’t, but if we’re going to do it, the LNC should not appear to be giving special treatment to anyone.

As a side note, just think about the possible legal ramifications if our convention were to nominate a candidate who refused to file with the FEC. If it were even appropriate for us to make exceptions to accommodate certain candidates, is that the side effect we want to be inviting for the Party? I think all of us object to FEC requirements in general, but the LNC doesn’t tell staff to stop filing monthly reports because of the legal and financial ramifications the organization would suffer.

I’m potentially willing to cosponsor some sort of motion to address this matter, but I’d like to hear feedback from other LNC members about what they believe is appropriate.

-Alicia


Email dated October 1, 2015 from Nicholas Sarwark, LNC Chair

Dear All,

For the information of the LNC members, the criteria to be listed on
the LP.org list of 2016 Presidential candidates that I’ve directed
staff to apply are that a candidate must:
1) Be constitutionally eligible for the office of President
2) Be a sustaining member of the Libertarian Party
3) Have a campaign website
4) Have filed an FEC Form 2 indicating that he/she is seeking the
Libertarian Party nomination, and
5) Not be seeking the nomination of any other political party.

Darryl Perry is listed as an exception that I made because he’s
running an active campaign, attending state conventions to campaign
among prospective delegates, and refusing to file as a protest against
an agency that our party believes should not even exist. This is an
exception to criterion 4 and at some level subjective, but I wanted it
to be clear to the LNC that I made that judgment call, not staff.

To address the specific issue of Mr. Petersen, he has indicated that
he plans to file FEC Form 2 indicating that he is seeking the
Libertarian Party nomination and has not indicated that his present
non-filing is any kind of protest, rather than just a delay in doing
the filing.

To address the legal ramifications, should the delegates decide to
nominate Mr. Perry, any penalties for non-compliance would come down
on Mr. Perry and/or his campaign staff. As long as the LNC continues
to comply with its FEC compliance requirements, any misbehavior on the
part of a particular candidate, even if the nominee, still falls on
the candidate.

Yours in liberty,
Nick


Email dated October 1, 2015 from Joshua A. Katz, Region 8 Alternate

Thank you for that clarification. My objection to the chair’s action of giving exceptions to the criteria stands, on Policy Manual grounds. If the exception makes sense to grant because our party opposes the FEC (see below), then it makes equal sense to simply not have such a requirement – actually, that makes more sense.

However, I’m not clear that our party has taken such a position. The closest I can come to that in our platform is section 3.6. However, compare section 2.4, which first calls for the repeal of the income tax, and then for the abolition of the IRS. This shows that we know how to say when we want to abolish an agency; any logic that lets 3.6 imply the abolition of the FEC would make the abolition of the IRS in 2.4 superfluous. Since most of the party would likely oppose any effort to strike the abolition of the IRS from 2.4, leaving the rest intact, it would seem that most of the party does not believe that 3.6 calls for abolishing the FEC.

Let me point out that this is not academic. Polls are being conducted where the listed candidates are those listed on our website. State parties are planning conventions, and it is not inconceivable that some will rely upon our listing in making invitations. The media may well rely upon our listing in deciding which candidates to contact, precisely because of the difficulty of sorting out serious candidates from the Form 2 filers. (I invite anyone who doubts that particular claim to view the list of Form 2 filers.)

Thank you again for clarifying.

Joshua Katz

Joshua A. Katz
Westbrook CT Planning Commission (L in R seat)


EDIT TO ADD 10/1/15

Email dated October 1, 2015 from Dan Wiener, Region 4 Representative

Our current criteria for listing people seeking the LP Presidential nomination are a mixture of constitutional requirements and indications of seriousness. As Nick described them, they are:
Be constitutionally eligible for the office of President
Be a sustaining member of the Libertarian Party
Have a campaign website
Have filed an FEC Form 2 indicating that he/she is seeking the Libertarian Party nomination, and
Not be seeking the nomination of any other political party.

Our Bylaws require criteria #1 and #2 in order to receive the LP nomination. Criteria #3 and #5 are indications of seriousness. But what about #4? It is not a requirement of the U.S. Constitution, and is not even required by statute if contributions total less than $5,000. A person could theoretically run for President and legally never file with the FEC. But as a practical matter, a candidate’s failure to file would either mean a woefully underfunded campaign with no chance of accomplishing anything, or else a violation of the law which would likely get the candidate indicted. Seeking a soapbox to highlight opposition to the FEC may be a worthy effort, but an indicted (and possibly convicted) candidate is not going to accomplish the Libertarian Party’s overall goals. However much we may despise the FEC, the LP nonetheless obeys the law and files our own reports with it. Criterion #4 is another indication of seriousness, and not an unreasonable one.

The Libertarian Party is proposing analogous criteria in our Fair Debates lawsuit. We are saying that “The proposed remedy is that the debates include all candidates who are legally qualified to serve and whose names appear on enough states’ ballots to potentially secure a majority in the Electoral College.” The first portion is a Constitutional requirement, but “potentially secure a majority in the Electoral College” is actually an indication of seriousness. The degree of difficulty in obtaining ballot status for Presidential candidates varies wildly from one state to the next, so we are effectively tying this requirement to the statutes of numerous states (some of which we are challenging in court). So here we are saying that qualifying for inclusion in the debates should depend on satisfying enough state ballot laws. How is that fundamentally different than saying a candidate seeking the LP Presidential nomination must satisfy the FEC laws?

(I should also note that it is technically possible for a candidate who is not on “enough states’ ballots to potentially secure a majority in the Electoral College” to still get elected President. Some Electoral College delegates who were elected on the slates of other candidates could switch their votes to him. Or if no candidate received a majority in the Electoral College, it would be thrown into the House of Representatives which might compromise on him.)

I think that it is useful for a variety of reasons for the LP to publish a list of serious candidates who are seeking our Presidential nomination. But just as in our Fair Debates lawsuit, there still must be some standards. The five criteria listed are quite minimal. I’d prefer to add additional requirements of raising a significant amount of money and having signed endorsements from a reasonable number of LP members. I certainly don’t want to water down the criteria any further.

So I come down on the side of wanting all of the criteria to be objectively enforced.

Dan Wiener


Email dated October 1, 2015 from Alicia Mattson, LNC Secretary

NS> Darryl Perry is listed as an exception that I made because he’s
running an active campaign, attending state conventions to campaign
among prospective delegates, and refusing to file as a protest against
an agency that our party believes should not even exist. This is an
exception to criterion 4 and at some level subjective, but I wanted it
to be clear to the LNC that I made that judgment call, not staff.

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

84 thoughts on “Libertarian National Committee Discussion: Criteria for Listing Presidential Candidates on Libertarian Party Website

  1. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Random thoughts that I hope to flesh out:

    1. I see Katz’ point on not listing Petersen but I think it ultimately fails in light of Sarwark’s email. Intent matters. But I think it is a very important point that needed to be raised.
    2. I see Mattson’s point about not listing anyone but I do think some objective criteria can be had, but I am not totally unsympathetic to her position.
    3. Any point that we as a Party should be requiring FEC registration is .. disturbing to me.
    4. Katz’ argument on the Platform is without merit.

    As the platform and those sorts of issues are my main interest, I will likely focus on number 4 if I have the time.

  2. Mark Axinn

    Since Darryl Perry has zero, none, nada chance of getting the nomination, I have no problem with Nick’s executive decision on this matter.

    Alicia’s point about changing criteria is a valid one, not just for this issue. But not listing anyone is counter-productive. We are a political party; seems to make sense to publicize our potential candidates (even if they are totally unknown beyond our small fishpond).

  3. Jill Pyeatt

    Darryl has been consistent in his presentations, and is clearly serious about being a candidate. I don’t mind having an exception made for him.

    I suspect the flurry of interest in Petersen will wane soon. I don’t know if he’s serious in his run for President. Maybe he’ll never file with the FCC.

  4. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I ultimately disagree with Mattson’s position, but it is not completely unreasonable. I see her point though I do think they need to be listed. The world will not end if they are not, however. Seriously I find our presidential campaign somewhat a distraction… but if they are to be listed, the criteria cannot change.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    This will sound like a trivial complaint too, but I also wonder how they decide on the order of listing. I have noticed that there is a certain order in the last few “official” listings (the email and the website) and I wonder how that is chosen. I list candidates alphabetically whenever I do and use that consistently. I wonder how National decides this.

  6. Nicholas Sarwark

    Since Darryl Perry has zero, none, nada chance of getting the nomination, I have no problem with Nick’s executive decision on this matter.

    The word of the day is “magnanimity.”

  7. Thomas L. Knapp

    Every presidential election cycle, there’s some kind of controversy over whether or not the candidates should be listed on the LNC’s web site and if so what the criteria are for admission to the list. In 2008, they tried some kind of scheme where any candidate who raised $X for the party made the list, with photo, etc., and any candidate who was raising toward that amount appeared at the bottom in text with a “donate to get this candidate listed” button or some such (I don’t remember all the details).

    With respect to FEC filing, there should be some objective set of criteria that allows a candidate to go either way, but put in similar effort, e.g. EITHER file a statement of campaign organization with the FEC, OR publicly publish, and submit to the LNC, a statement of similar intent to run with an explanation for the reason one is not filing with the FEC. “Haven’t got around to it yet” is fine, but wouldn’t meet that criterion — ask to be listed when you HAVE gotten around to it (or to its alternative).

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    Absent the entry of some “big name” candidate in the race, I expect the contest in Orlando to come down to Darryl Perry v. NOTA. But that expectation may be under-informed. I just haven’t noticed any other candidate who pings the meter on both libertarian policy seriousness AND hard work campaigning as him. If there is one, I’d be interested in hearing about him or her.

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Petersen is bragging about a potentially big showing. Though of course his “National Volunteer Coordinator” told George Phillies yesterday that he was completely ignorant on the delegate process.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    I don’t see much change of Petersen being a factor. If that changes, I’ll likely be giving up on NOTA and going to work on Darryl’s behalf. Starting with oppo research. I may not be good at much, but I’m pretty good at that, as people like Wayne Allyn Root and Gary Nolan can attest.

  11. Stewart Flood

    So do we list just Beavis, or do we list both Beavis and Butt-head?

    We’re already listing Bullwinkle, as well as Pinky, Stimpy and one or two other unidentifiable characters.

  12. George Phillies

    The same person claimed to have found delegates supporting Petersen in every state. This includes states that have no delegates yet.

    We invited a reasonably long series of candidates to our October 17 debates. One had an unexpected non-reschedulable work-related issue. A series of them, including Ince and Pedersen, indicated to me that they did not have the money to attend. At least one ceased contact when asked if he was a member of the National Party. I had what might have been an inquiry about Snowden, and explained that he is not eligible…too young.

  13. Mark Axinn

    >Maybe he’ll never file with the FCC.

    That’s good, because he’s not licensing airwaves!

  14. Mark Axinn

    In more news of the absurd world of politics, last night Sam Sloan announced that he is running for President as a Democrat.

  15. paulie

    Dan Wiener to LNC:

    Our current criteria for listing people seeking the LP Presidential nomination are a mixture of constitutional requirements and indications of seriousness. As Nick described them, they are:

    Be constitutionally eligible for the office of President
    Be a sustaining member of the Libertarian Party
    Have a campaign website
    Have filed an FEC Form 2 indicating that he/she is seeking the Libertarian Party nomination, and
    Not be seeking the nomination of any other political party.

    Our Bylaws require criteria #1 and #2 in order to receive the LP nomination. Criteria #3 and #5 are indications of seriousness. But what about #4? It is not a requirement of the U.S. Constitution, and is not even required by statute if contributions total less than $5,000. A person could theoretically run for President and legally never file with the FEC. But as a practical matter, a candidate’s failure to file would either mean a woefully underfunded campaign with no chance of accomplishing anything, or else a violation of the law which would likely get the candidate indicted. Seeking a soapbox to highlight opposition to the FEC may be a worthy effort, but an indicted (and possibly convicted) candidate is not going to accomplish the Libertarian Party’s overall goals. However much we may despise the FEC, the LP nonetheless obeys the law and files our own reports with it. Criterion #4 is another indication of seriousness, and not an unreasonable one.

    The Libertarian Party is proposing analogous criteria in our Fair Debates lawsuit. We are saying that “The proposed remedy is that the debates include all candidates who are legally qualified to serve and whose names appear on enough states’ ballots to potentially secure a majority in the Electoral College.” The first portion is a Constitutional requirement, but “potentially secure a majority in the Electoral College” is actually an indication of seriousness. The degree of difficulty in obtaining ballot status for Presidential candidates varies wildly from one state to the next, so we are effectively tying this requirement to the statutes of numerous states (some of which we are challenging in court). So here we are saying that qualifying for inclusion in the debates should depend on satisfying enough state ballot laws. How is that fundamentally different than saying a candidate seeking the LP Presidential nomination must satisfy the FEC laws?

    (I should also note that it is technically possible for a candidate who is not on “enough states’ ballots to potentially secure a majority in the Electoral College” to still get elected President. Some Electoral College delegates who were elected on the slates of other candidates could switch their votes to him. Or if no candidate received a majority in the Electoral College, it would be thrown into the House of Representatives which might compromise on him.)

    I think that it is useful for a variety of reasons for the LP to publish a list of serious candidates who are seeking our Presidential nomination. But just as in our Fair Debates lawsuit, there still must be some standards. The five criteria listed are quite minimal. I’d prefer to add additional requirements of raising a significant amount of money and having signed endorsements from a reasonable number of LP members. I certainly don’t want to water down the criteria any further.

    So I come down on the side of wanting all of the criteria to be objectively enforced.

    Dan Wiener

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    One a first pass of his web site, he seems to be minimizing his association with the Libertarian Party. There are some Google results that indicate iterations of the Party’s name that have been deleted. The only place it seems to be mentioned is on a page about his upcoming speech at LibertyFest NYC. He does, in text, refer to himself as a small-l “libertarian reformer” and “constitutional libertarian.”

    His campaign phone number is in DC; the campaign’s mailing address corresponds to a farm and nursery in Peculiar, Missouri, owned by persons also surnamed Petersen.

    His platform is actually reasonably good, although worded ambiguously on some issues.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Dan Wiener:

    “an indicted (and possibly convicted) candidate is not going to accomplish the Libertarian Party’s overall goals.”

    Eugene Debs polled more than million votes for president from a prison cell, and put the Socialist Party on a track that got much of its platform implemented.

    In fact, in 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran on a platform of balancing the federal budget and cutting the size of the federal government by 25%. But after Norman Thomas, Debs’s successor, polled nearly 900,000 votes in that election, FDR instead implemented the “New Deal” that Hoover had proposed, which co-opted a good deal of the Socialist Party’s platform, cutting Thomas down to less than 200k votes in 1936.

    Percentagewise, the LP has never come close to Debs in 1920 or Thomas in 1928. I’m not saying a candidate who has been indicted or convicted WOULD take us there, but if the indictment/conviction was for the right thing and it was played well, it might be a positive, not a negative.

    But we could cross that bridge when we came to it. It’s not like any OTHER approach has “accomplished the Libertarian Party’s overall goals,” and the last two election cycles have produced results at best orthogonal to and arguably contrary to, those goals. Better a jailbird libertarian than a carpetbagging Republican.

  18. Marc Montoni

    This is where the LWBS urge to never say anything in the Platform comes home to roost.

    While Katz is correct that the LP does not *currently* take a position on the FEC, that is just because we adopted a Bowdlerized platform that shed a bucketload of long-time LP and libertarian movement positions.

    Consider the 1996 Platform language on election laws, for instance.

    Or consider the 2004 version.

    Oh, but at least now, no one can attack us for our controversial stance on bureaucratic control of elections and political parties.

  19. Marc Montoni

    There is an immediate solution to the “problem” of listing candidates on the LP website. It’s the same solution I suggested in 2012: Eliminate the listings on the LP website and instead link to an IPR article (or even an LPedia article) that reviews the candidates and links to them directly.

    I think it’s interesting that there is no objection to joining with Gary Johnson’s OAI effort to sue the debates commission, but mention anyone else — or cooperate with them on a project — and watch the hissy fit erupt.

  20. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Marc, that is why I don’t think Mattson’s suggestion is so unreasonable. (at the risk of getting the stink eye, I think sometimes people just like to jump on her)

  21. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Tom,

    ==One a first pass of his web site, he seems to be minimizing his association with the Libertarian Party. There are some Google results that indicate iterations of the Party’s name that have been deleted. The only place it seems to be mentioned is on a page about his upcoming speech at LibertyFest NYC. He does, in text, refer to himself as a small-l “libertarian reformer” and “constitutional libertarian.”==

    He now is trying to associate himself greatly, but I am a listener of his podcasts and reader of his site for a while before this, and he zealously promoted Republicans, and even AFTER he declared for the LP, he was still endorsing Rand Paul. About four months ago, he posted a beaming selfie of him in front the Republican headquarters in his town. (that was on his personal page, I am unfriended so I can’t retrieve it, and I bet it is now deleted– would love to be proven wrong and that he kept it up)

    ==His platform is actually reasonably good, although worded ambiguously on some issues.==

    He is a hardcore minarchist, and thus, his positions, I am happy with. It is his methods, intentions, and behavior as regards the Party that I am not in support of. Personally, he is a great guy and on that level I like him very much. He is talented in his show and for what he wants his site to be, very good at it. I just think he is terrible for the Party personally. His Platform I have very little issues with.

  22. Caryn Ann Harlos

    And to add nevermind his “National Volunteer Coordinator” belittling Phillies’ knowledge of the Party and calling him (with plausible deniability that she wasn’t *really* calling him it) a pretty vulgar name.

  23. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Updated the post with Wiener’s response. I highly disagree with his statement (and this the type of statement I dislike intensely from the LNC)

    Seeking a soapbox to highlight opposition to the FEC may be a worthy effort, but an indicted (and possibly convicted) candidate is not going to accomplish the Libertarian Party’s overall goals.

    That is not for the LNC to decide, it is for the members. The convictions against the FEC are inline with our philosophy. The LNC isn’t the Party. If the members/delegates want that as a requirement, go through the process of Bylaws amendment. The LP is trying so hard to be respectable in statist eyes, I am sure it will get passed… go through the process.

  24. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Marc, even with the weakened Platform, I still think Katz is completely wrong and being over-the-top pedantic.

  25. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom,

    ==Better a jailbird libertarian than a carpetbagging Republican.==

    I doubt much of the Party leadership agrees with you. It might scare soccer moms in Peoria.

  26. Wang Tang-Fu

    Get rid of the stupid FEC requirement. Who cares if Darryl Perry is not filing with them out of protest and Austin Petersen did not get around to it yet. Doesn’t matter, they are an anti liberty agency anyway.

    Dues paying LP member. Check.
    Not running for any other party. Check.
    Bother to call, email or carrier pigeon the national office. Check.

    That right there gets rid of the total goofballs.

    FEC paperwork is not a barrier to them. Check the FEC website listing of candidates and their submissions if you doubt this.

    Traveling to state conventions is a good one too. Haven’t done it yet? No problem. Show us a hotel booking, plane or train ticket purchase. Something besides just “here’s 15 states I plan to go to except I am actually not really going to be at any of them in real life” (Ince) or “fuck you, it’s your job to come to me and research me and I won’t spend a penny” (Pfeiderrer) or “Well if mana drops from heaven I will but I won’t lift a finger except to hit computer keyboards” (Milnes).

    Perry has done this, Petersen can and I believe will.

    Johnson? If he stays out until after all the state conventions are done he deserves to not be listed on the website. So what, he’ll probably win with or without it. And if he doesn’t, he should have tried harder.

  27. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Petersen is bragging about a potentially big showing. Though of course his “National Volunteer Coordinator” told George Phillies yesterday that he was completely ignorant on the delegate process.

    Who is his national volunteer coordinator?

  28. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Samantha Mae Tanner is the name she uses on FB (I word it that way because I don’t bother or care if people use their government names on FB or not)

  29. paulie

    Mattson to LNC:

    NS> Darryl Perry is listed as an exception that I made because he’s
    running an active campaign, attending state conventions to campaign
    among prospective delegates, and refusing to file as a protest against
    an agency that our party believes should not even exist. This is an
    exception to criterion 4 and at some level subjective, but I wanted it
    to be clear to the LNC that I made that judgment call, not staff.

  30. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    And there is where I disagree with Mattson. The hostility to Sarwark is barely disguised (imho). I am tired of that kind of stuff on the LNC.

  31. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paulie they are in a FB group you need to join. I will grab the link but screenshots would be better… where can I host images to link to here?

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    I’m not well-known as a defender of Mattson, and Nick Sarwark is one of the last people I would ever suspect of undue favoritism or special treatment.

    However, on the issue, Mattson is correct. The criteria for inclusion need to be specific, objective and inflexible.

    I would favor either not having FEC filing be one of those criteria or having a specific alternative to FEC filing among the criteria. But not “some people have to file with the FEC and some don’t, and the chair picks and chooses which people and what reasons.”

  33. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Tom,

    I was unclear.. thank you for pointing it out. I don’t disagree the objective requirement. I disagree with the tone and the implications of it.

    I also find her statement about the conventions really strained… that could be nailed down.

    (and I am often a defender of Mattson.. I think she is spoken of unfairly quite a bit IMHO and blamed for things way out of proportion)

  34. paulie

    Fun stuff, I am in the group already .. it’s a lot of text to post here and make semi-presentable. Can those of you who are not in that group see that conversation?

  35. Richard Winger

    In 1996, Ralph Nader was the Green Party presidential nominee. He said he would not run unless the party accepted the idea that he was not going to raise or spend as much as $5,000 and he would not file FEC reports. The Green Party said, “OK.” In the 1996 election Nader stuck to that. Nevertheless, he got 685,040 votes (even though he was only on in 23 states), more than Harry Browne’s 1996 total of 485,798.

  36. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Matt, it’s FB, that goes without saying. The problem is when one shoots their mouth off on FB you don’t always know who you are talking to. It is obviously Samantha had little familiarity with the LP and thus just didn’t know who Phillies was and thought she was just belittling some FB troll — rather than someone who did know what they were talking about. At that point, the best move is to go mea culpa and move on. We’ve all likely done it.

  37. Nicholas Sarwark

    The FEC Form 2 is relatively easy to fill out and file, but the act of doing it does in fact filter out some number of candidates who can’t be bothered to do the work of filing, or have decided to file for a different political party or no political party at all.

    Mr. Perry has done other things that indicate that he is doing the work of being a candidate and that if he did not have a philosophical objection to filing with the FEC, I have no doubt he could and would do the work of filling out the paperwork.

    Could I come up with a set of criteria that would encompass Darryl Perry and all other similarly situated candidates? I could.

    Does it appear that, with the unfortunate passing of Jim Libertarian Burns, there is any other candidate who is likely to be similarly situated this election cycle? It does not.

    If the LNC is of a mind to change the rules or specifically remove or include one or more candidates, someone will need to make a motion to that effect.

  38. George Phillies

    Writing vast numbers of detailed rules consumes resources that might elsewise be used for something useful. At some point there is a political decision to be made. Excluding Mr. Perry would outrage a significant section of the more radical wings of our party.

  39. Nicholas Sarwark

    Detailed rules are often a poor substitute for good judgment.

    See, e.g. zero tolerance policies at government schools or arbitrary volume regulations on the liquids one may bring in one’s carry-on luggage on a plane.

  40. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I still haven’t had a chance to explain why I think Katz’ “platform argument” was really off-target… very busy, and I think it somewhat obvious.

    On another note, this was posted by Starchild in the public LNC votes list:

    == Requiring candidates to deal with an agency that the Libertarian Party does not believe ought to exist as a condition for participating in our nominating process does not seem any more acceptable than making exceptions.

    I do not think LP members want principled candidates like Darryl Perry to be screened out for refusing to comply with unjust statist edicts.

    Love & Liberty,
    ((( starchild )))

    ===

    It is just as obvious to Starchild as it is to me that obviously the FEC is something we have taken a position against.

    Starchild is right that LP *members* do not want principled candidates like Perry to be screened out (at least a certain significant percentage of us do not)…. I am not so sure the majority of LP *leaders* feel the same way. And that is part of the problem.

  41. paulie

    Roland Riemers to LNC:

    I would be interested in hearing about anyone with a good potential of being a presidential candidate. You know, not born in Kenya, and meets other constitutional requirements. But I also think, if they want to speak at a LNC meeting or at the national convention, they should have at least the sponsorship of 3 state committees. I am really not that interested in FEC filingins being made. Sustaining member of Party? Would be nice, but if they support our platform and would make a good candidate, I would be willing to listen to what they have to say. Roland of ND

  42. Mike K

    Should the LP do what they did in 2012 and not list any candidates, I will go ahead and pack my bags. One of the most embarrassing moments was collecting signatures in 2012 for the presidential candidate and hearing “I just looked on your website, there’s no candidates listed, at least I couldn’t find any”. and me saying “Well there’s a dispute on who should be listed”… “Well the LP needs to get it’s shit together”…..

  43. paulie

    I agree that we should list some candidates. However as

    “I just looked on your website, there’s no candidates listed, at least I couldn’t find any”

    Check out Democrats.org

    Under 2016 they list the Republican candidates. Seriously. If Hillary, Bernie, O’Malley et al are on there somewhere, I am not seeing where.

    What I usually say when asked who our candidates will be is that just like the Rs and Ds we haven’t picked them yet and will have state and national nominating conventions next year where those decisions will be made, and that unlike those other two parties they are not just coronations but actual conventions where the nominations are often hotly contested.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    —–
    “I just looked on your website, there’s no candidates listed, at least I couldn’t find any”

    Check out Democrats.org
    —–

    Non sequitur, at least until the Libertarian Party gets several hours of free media every day, day in and day out, for at least a year before the election, for its candidates on the networks and major cable news outlets.

    As it is now, the LNC’s web site is almost certainly THE main entry/identification point for non-activist voters wanting presidential candidate information.

    The bylaws require the LNC to “full support for the Party’s nominee for President.” The phrasing and surrounding language imply that that support is only due once the nominee has been chosen, but there’s no particular reason that the LNC shouldn’t be supporting the nominee BEFORE that nominee is chosen, by publicizing that nominee and that nominee’s opponents for the nomination. The other parties start going gangbusters more than a year before the election. Why in the hell would we wait until 90-120 days before the election, even if early promotion falls more heavily on our shoulders (instead of the mainstream media’s) and is less certain (because we don’t know who our nominee is until later in the cycle due to the fuck-stupid decision to stop having the nominating convention the year before)?

  45. paulie

    TLK

    Don’t get me wrong. I agree with you on that. I’m just saying there are ways to deal with objections like that in the field.

    I also agree with Nick that the criteria can’t be perfect.

    I think just constitutionally qualified, has a website, is a dues paying national member and is not running with any other party screens out the real nuts. The FEC doesn’t even require anyone to file before they hit 5k in contributions, and I don’t think many if any at all of the current contenders have yet. I was thinking the travel to state conventions requirement was a good one, but Alicia actually makes a good case why that one is hard to define objectively.

    The criteria should be relatively straightforward and objective, but I don’t know if it’s even possible for them to be perfect.

  46. paulie

    I would be interested in hearing about anyone with a good potential of being a presidential candidate. You know, not born in Kenya,

    Is it OK if they are from the dark, shadowy, mysterious and primitive realm of Birfur?

  47. Marc Montoni

    Google ‘Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates’ (no quotes), and check out the first result.

    Anyone who is asked who our candidates are — petitioners, activists, etc — should just point out the easiest way to find out. For most people in the AOG (Age of Google), that’s just doing the above.

    Not sure I see much problem. This way, those who have their knickers in a twist because other candidates than the one they approve of are listed on LP.org, can have their cake and eat it too — and so can those who disagree with them.

    Again I will suggest that LP.org simply direct presidential inquirers to a dedicated IPR page, or something.

  48. paulie

    We may or may not know who is running such outside pages and how they get their info, how often they update it, etc. The link you cite does not include Austin Petersen, for example. The list has some but not all of the candidates that can be found via FEC, Politics1, Green Pages and other sources. So all we have done if we do that is shifted the decision over who is included and who isn’t to someone else, and/or their ability to get ranked higher in google.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    If LNC wants to link to another site for candidate listings, I’d go with Politics1. It’s been around for a LONG time, and in my experience it’s pretty accurate, pretty inclusive, and whenever I’ve let the owner (Ron Gunzberger) know I’m running for an office, I’m listed within a day (I don’t think he waits for candidates to contact him, he also actively looks out for them).

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Well, yeah. But the “Omigod, no, we can’t have THAT guy, what will Meet The Press think” crowd gets its way almost every time, then blames everyone else when the results are disappointing.

    There was blood on the convention floor hall in 2004 from all the cerebral hemorrhages when Badnarik won the nomination over a standard suit-and-tie type and a quasi-celebrity. And yet he ended up doing about as well as Harry Browne or Bob Barr.

    Time to stop coddling the Cargo Cult Libertarians.

  51. paulie

    Not talking Badnarik here. More like the guy that screamed at us about being drugged out abortionists from the podium. Or the assorted nuts who can’t even make it to the convention. Politics1 lists:

    Alexander Cordover (Alabama)
    Maro Day Cray (Illinois)
    William Digges (Virginia)
    Keenan Dunham (South Carolina)
    Raymond Dupuis (Washington)
    Marc Feldman (Ohio)
    Henry Herford (Louisiana)
    Robert Higginson (California)
    Cecil Ince (Texas)
    Irving Jensen IV (South Dakota)
    Roger Jewell (Arizona)
    Former Governor Gary Johnson (New Mexico)
    Steve Kerbel (Colorado)
    Robert Kuffel (New Jersey)
    Kip Lee (California)
    Robert Milnes (New Jersey)
    Nathan Norman (Pennsylvania)
    Darryl Perry (Texas)
    Austin Peterson (Missouri)
    Rebecca Pfleiderer (Missouri)
    Bill Pruitt (Oklahoma)
    Derrick Reid (California)
    Robert David Steele (Virginia)
    Dennis Torii Jr. (Florida)
    Joy Waymire (California)
    Mike Wiley (Nevada)

    It includes websites for the ones who have them and notes Johnson is still a maybe. Kip Lee has switched to the Ashtar Command Party and I haven’t looked the list over for others that have left the LP race.

    The other link Marc had included Derrick Michael Reid.

    Follow the links for yourself.

  52. paulie

    Still lists Kip Lee though.

    And someone cutting and pasting from that link may not know that the names in Grey have died, withdrawn or decided against running.

  53. Thomas L. Knapp

    That lengthy list would, for me, make the case for the LNC site itself listing candidates on the basis of some set of objective criteria — constitutionally qualified, qualified per the bylaws (IIRC the bylaws say that the nominee must be a sustaining member as of nomination, but I see no reason not to include that as a criterion for listing, too … if you’re not willing to support the party until the day it nominates you, fuck off), not seeking the nomination of any other party, and so forth.

    I don’t see that filing some paperwork with a government agency — paperwork that is optional until the candidate has raised and spent $5k, paperwork that many, probably even most, LP members regard as an illegitimate requirement — should be among those criteria.

  54. paulie

    I don’t see that filing some paperwork with a government agency — paperwork that is optional until the candidate has raised and spent $5k, paperwork that many, probably even most, LP members regard as an illegitimate requirement — should be among those criteria.

    Agreed!

  55. George Phillies

    Refusing to file might be a matter of conscience (Perry), but it was certainly a great way to hide the scale of the scampaign (Browne) until filing happened..

  56. paulie

    As far as I know that was a matter of conscience as well, but ultimately they decided against going to prison for it.

  57. Joseph Buchman

    Nicholas Sarwark @ October 1, 2015 at 10:02 pm wrote:

    “Detailed rules are often a poor substitute for good judgment. e.g. zero tolerance policies at government schools . . .”

    Ditto.

    Interesting that Alicia who finds having the Secretary of State be dispositive for Oregon party chair as inappropriate, now advocates for having the FEC rules determine LP POTUS candidates?

    Perhaps she is just following your admonition above regarding “detailed rules.” If only she could get the “good judgment” portion working too.

    Thomas L. Knapp October 2, 2015 at 2:57 pm wrote:

    “I don’t see that filing some paperwork with a government agency — paperwork that is optional until the candidate has raised and spent $5k, paperwork that many, probably even most, LP members regard as an illegitimate requirement — should be among those criteria.”

    DITTO! And – REALLY well stated!

    Joe

  58. paulie

    Interesting that Alicia who finds having the Secretary of State be dispositive for Oregon party chair as inappropriate, now advocates for having the FEC rules determine LP POTUS candidates?

    Good point.

  59. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    I am not so sure that is what Mattson was doing. She was advocating for not listing any candidates if there were not consistent rules… not so sure she was advocating a certain rule. It seemed to me Katz was doing that.

    (I don’t think the two situations are entirely analogous anyways)

  60. Wang Tang-Fu

    The FEC rules that candidates have to fill out this form. Most libertarians don’t think this is a legitimate requirement, but most do it anyway. Even the FEC does not require it of any candidates who have not raised 5k. So why would the LP refuse to list candidates who haven’t raised 5k and so are not even required to file the form by the FEC, much less those who refuse to do so based on libertarian principles? Should we refuse to list libertarian candidates who have run afoul in any way of the IRS, BATFE, and all the other alphabet soup monstrosity products of unsuccessful partial birth abortions? Should we refuse to list them even if they haven’t run afoul of the regulations yet for not pre-emptively filing paperwork even the bureaucrats don’t require them to file at this stage? Seriously….WTF?!

  61. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Just judging by the information here, I believe she wants consistent standards and that listing none is the path of least resistance and absolute consistency.

    On a subjective and perhaps unfair note, I think she just doesn’t like Sarwark very much. But that is a guess reading into things and ultimately is irrelevant to her point about consistent standards.

  62. paulie

    It’s pretty obvious that Alicia and Nick have some rivalry going on in terms of intra-party conflict. I don’t know what that means about how they feel about each other personally. I like both of them personally, and always or almost always take Nick’s side on the issues on which they disagree.

    I do believe Alicia actually considers all the current candidates to be embarrassing and would prefer to have none of them listed.

  63. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Paulie,

    I intuit something more than just intra-party rivalry but that can be completely unfair, I admit. I too like both of them personally. Sarwark is pretty popular here, which is why I spend a fair bit of time defending Mattson… I do think she is treated overly harshly, and her skills as a Secretary are, IMHO, stellar.

    It seems on issues on IPR I consistently take Sarwark’s side, but I have had many disagreements with Sarwark elsewhere (you have seem some at LPRC).

    As far as Mattson’s feelings on the current candidates… I don’t know, but she was advocating not listing anyone last campaign too was she not? Or am I confused on that (being new, I get some of the history screwed up)

  64. paulie

    As far as Mattson’s feelings on the current candidates… I don’t know, but she was advocating not listing anyone last campaign too was she not?

    Yep.

  65. paulie

    True, but Nader ’96 spent less than 5k yet managed to beat us in votes, with fewer states of ballot access.

    It’s conceivable that some libertarian candidate could do the same thing. Probably not anyone currently running, but there are well known libertarians who could at least in theory decide to run. What then?

  66. paulie

    5k is the minimum level at which FEC reporting is required. Nader intentionally kept that campaign below 5k in spending to avoid FEC reporting. I don’t think he cheated on that, but I don’t know. He did spend more, and did file with the FEC, in subsequent runs. Anyone raising and spending less than 5k does not have to file anything at all with the FEC.

  67. Caryn Ann Harlos Post author

    Another email was sent but I can’t figure out who sent it to the LNC-Votes list…. can anyone else on the list figure it out?

    It merely read (dated 10/8/15)

    “I also support the listed criteria, and another two based upon amount of funds having been raised and some form of endorsement from LP members … or possibly from LP state affiliates. Example of endorsement: sponsorship from 5 state chairpersons.”

    I would like to update the post above with this

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